With recent reports of Sony and rather surprisingly Nintendo too losing money, they undoubtedly have high hopes for their next generation of consoles, but this recent survey from goo Research and reported on by japan.internet.com into games machines (the first in a new series of regular surveys) does not make good reading.
Between the 17th and 19th of October 2011 1,083 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 53.3% of the sample were male, 16.3% in their teens, 18.2% in their twenties, 21.9% in their thirties, 16.3% in their forties, and 27.3% aged fifty or older.
I wonder if just as people talk about a post-PC world where smartphones and tablets take the fore, are we also entering a post-console world? Zynga, the makers of FarmVille and other Facebook games are about to float at a valuation of $6 billion, and DeNA, the people who run the almost-exclusively Japanese gaming site Mobage had a turnover of about $1.5 billion (yes, dollars, not yen) last year with a profit ratio of about 50%! However, both these companies offer mainly pretty simple browser-based games using the freemium model – free to play, but with additional items available for a fee. Similarly, the iPhone and Android app stores price games very cheap and support them using either or both in-game advertising or paid-for additional items or levels. Thus, a separate console plus $30 or $40 per game looks not too good a deal.
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